Tottenham Hotspur are still in the market for a central midfielder in the summer transfer window, and according to the Portuguese sporting press, Mauricio Pochettino has cast his eye on Sporting’s captain Adrien Silva.
According to A Bola, Spurs have now put in two bids for Silva, a 28-year old defensive midfielder who has spent his entire career in Lisbon. The report says that Spurs had an initial bid of around €20m rejected, and have recently put in an improved offer of €25m plus incentives that could take the fee up to €30m. That’s close to the €35m that Sporting wants for Silva.
I have a hard time with this rumor. First of all, I have no idea how reliable a source A Bola is, as I’m not particularly proficient in the Portuguese sports media. That there have reportedly been two bids suggests Spurs are serious, but who knows, really. That’s silly season for you, and it’s always wise to take foreign media reports with more than one grain of salt.
But second, I really am not sure how this would be a beneficial transfer move for Tottenham. Silva isn’t a bad player, but he hasn’t really done a whole lot to indicate that he would be a good addition to Spurs’ midfield corps this year. He’s primarily a defensive midfielder, with emphasis on the “defensive.” The little I’ve seen of him suggests that he’s not especially progressive with his passing and offers very little to Sporting’s attack. He also fouls a lot, and can be injury-prone.
More, Spurs are looking for a central midfielder ostensibly because Mousa Dembele might be at the point of diminishing returns, which would make this transfer make even less sense. Dembele is a strong and fast shuttler, adept at transitioning from the midfield to the attack, and who turns 30 this year. Silva is none of those things, and he’s currently 28. Michael Caley called him “sort of a worse Wanyama,” which doesn’t sound TOO bad until you realize that Spurs might be spending £26m for a guy one year younger than Moose who probably wouldn’t be a starter and who doesn’t begin to address the strengths that Dembele currently brings to the team.
Sporting reportedly turned down a €30m bid from Leicester City for Silva last season, and his contract doesn’t expire until 2020, so it’s curious why they might be ready to accept less money for their club captain and a Sporting “lifer” unless he’s ready to make a move.
I’ve been wrong about transfers before, but if Spurs’ interest in Silva is real, I have a very hard time understanding it. Most of the Silva rumors in the English press are relying on the A Bola report, so for now I’ll be waiting for more info or a more traditional source to emerge. But this rumor doesn’t do a whole lot to make me feel better about Spurs’ transfer window thus far.